Was “Becket” A Gay Love Story?

This is the 50th-anniversary year for “Becket,” starring Richard Burton as Thomas Becket and Peter O’Toole as King Henry II. I remember seeing it as a child and thinking the film was more boring than being alive. Maybe if I watched it again I would change my mind. Blogger Jeffrey Wells has certainly whetted my appetite for a reconsideration. He writes that “Becket” was ‘the most covert “gay” movie ever released to mainstream America in the 20th Century. It was an Oscar-worthy, big-budget historical drama costarring two of the biggest and most respected box-office draws of the day, and both of them Shakespeare-capable — Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole…and nobody in 1964 seemed to even notice, much less write about, the subtext. It flew right by.’

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